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Beast Wars Universe is a Japanese-exclusive guidebook, licensed by Takara and published by Sony Magazines on March 18, 2000. It features a wealth of information about the Beast Wars animated series, toyline, and production process.
While this book is in Japanese, it deals only in Hasbro characters and continuity, referring to appropriate characters as "Optimus Primal" and "Cheetor" rather than "Convoy" and "Cheetas", and it has no mention at all of Japanese sequel series such as Beast Wars II, except for a brief section concerning HasbroCollectors.com's American mail-order offerings, including some Japanese toys.
The book is divided into several sections:
This section features all the in-show characters, divided by factions. Major repeating characters get full-page profiles depicting their Mainframe character models and showcasing their signature special powers or episodes in which they played prominent roles. There are also smaller profiles for cameo characters such as Starscream and story-relevant objects such as the Golden Disks. This section also specifically names the members of the Tripredacus Council as being those who form the Tripredacus toy.
This section has thorough photo spreads and commentary about the entire U.S. Beast Wars toyline circa 2000 (thus, obviously, it cannot include later releases such as the Mutants or post-2000 BotCon Exclusive toys like Apelinq and Shokaract). It also discusses undocumented or cancelled toy features, such as Transmetal Rattrap's wheel-like leg ornaments that apparently at one point were supposed to be fully functional. There is a brief "teaser" treatment of early-wave toys and promotional art from Beast Machines.
Each character's content features not only the text and tech spec on the bio card, but also includes commentary about gimmick, naming origin, and other aspects.
Covers all three seasons of the Beast Wars animated series. Each episode guide has a brief story digest and commentary.
Beast Wars glossary
Some of the terms in this section are canonical, and others are not. The non-canonical terms might exist only in original scripts, come from ideas that were never used, or may have been hinted at but were later changed/retconned in Beast Machines or Universe by other writers.
Information from producers
Aside from reproducing a lot of information that was previously available elsewhere, the book also contained some new tidbits from those involved in the creation of the series.
For example, one section which has been translated into English by fans presents background information from Larry DiTillio concerning his ideas for the Vok. This is one of the few sources of information about the aliens and their connection to the strange "Matrix" and "Pit" facilities that were occasionally mentioned by DiTillio and Bob Forward in their days posting to alt.toys.transformers. However, it should be stressed that most of the ideas DiTillio discusses were never incorporated into the series itself, and some were even explicitly contradicted by later material. Further, Forward and DiTillio disagreed with each other about many background issues, including the nature of the Vok. This means that the information in this section can be helpful for shedding light on events of the series, but is not established canon.
- ISBN 4-7897-1484-5
- ISBN 978-4789714846
- Writers: Hirofumi Ichikawa and Fumihiko Akiyama
- Pagecount: 112
- Publisher: Sony Magazines
- Published date: March 18, 2000